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By | Austin Modine 27th April 2007 21:49

Reg readers total 3,238 years against cancer

The final score as closes shop

After almost seven years of harnessing volunteers' unused CPU cycles to find a cure for cancer, is shutting down operations. The organization said today it has completed its mission to demonstrate the viability and benefits of large-scale internet-based grid computing and will retire from service. was the largest public interest grid venture ever attempted and has spawned dozens of similar projects.

Each member ran software that sorted through data generated by Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and the National Foundation for Cancer Research for the massive task of screening molecules to find potential cancer drugs.

At's conception, The Register called upon its readers to contribute their processor time for the cause. Under the banner of Vulture Central II, the extraordinary response from cancer-busting readers put our team amongst the top contributers of the project.

Far be it from The Register to toot its own horn, of course. Sure, we kicked ass, but the real accomplishment is joining millions of others in humanity's struggle against this...

Well, only if you insist (toot toot):

Vulture Central II was the third-largest team with a total of 4,165 members. Our army could only be overshadowed by Usenet service team Easynews (17,503 members) and the massive Japanese internet bulletin board 2ch (66,720 members).

Our cancer-fighters contributed over 3,000 years of CPU time to the cause. Out of 5000 teams, Vulture Central was number four. The top five broke down as such:

  • Team 2ch: 40,207 years
  • Easynews: 27,228 years
  • Team Discovery: 3,395 years
  • Vulture Central II: 3,238 years
  • Dutch Power Cows against cancer: 3,167 years

Points were awarded to members based on the "strength" of the participants machine. Factoring in CPU power, RAM, allocated HDD space and speed of the connection, Vulture Central II dropped down to fifth place.

  • Team 2ch: 6,968,891,076 points
  • Easynews: 4,701,535,155 points
  • Team Discovery: 636,208,457 points
  • Dutch Power Cows against cancer: 531,167,823 points
  • Vulture Central II: 479,626,068 points

Cheers, guys. And a word of thanks to Dave Oliver, for organizing Vulture Central 2. is succeeded by similar projects such as World Community Grid, Compute Against Cancer and Folding@Home.

The Register is starting a Folding@Home team to replace our previous effort, dubbed Vulture Central 2.2. Join us at our team page here. Folks can help process the hell out of some proteins by downloading the client available for Windows, OSX and Linux. Those of you with a PS3 can get in on the act as well.

Let's show protein who's boss. ®


Scavenger League captain John Foster informs us there already is a Register team on Folding@Home. Vulture Central VI's home base is here.

You can also join a Vulture Central team at World Community Grid that's been running since 2004.

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